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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors

This comment was written by Daniel Powell on 9 Jul 2013.

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Playing Nice and Building Up: Reflecting on Integrating Projects

This assignment took the form of a collaboratively produced, integrated presentation involving multiple projects and methodological strategies. Our topic—"Representation, Deformation, Reinterpretation: Digital Tools and Scholarly Methodologies"—sought to discuss how multiple projects operating under the rubric of digital humanities can share broad approaches while differing widely in the particulars of enactment. To do this, we used Ray Siemens and John Unsworth's definition of digital humanities as a pattern of "critical inquiry" using technology as a starting point.

In discussions of our projects' intersections and divergences, we, as a group, realized that our three projects were representative of different stages of a single type of digital humanistic inquiry: that of representation, deformation, and reinterpretation. Drawing on several digital humanists and critical theorists, we moved, individually and collectively, through a possible digital humanities approach to a problem.

By far the most difficult part of this project was integrating our projects into some cohesive whole. With widely different focuses (Michael was producing a geospatial project on Joyce's Dublin; I was networking dialogue in an early modern dramatic text; Alison was modelling maternal mobility in Victoria London), locating our commonalities was at time a challenge. Nevertheless, by forcing us to reckon with each other, we each gained an appreciation not only for our own projects and their merits, but also how digital approaches in the humanities can be considered productively from a distant vantage point.

Author: Daniel Powell
Word Count: 232
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